I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it here, but if I haven’t, I have fibromyalgia. I’ve had it most of my life, so I’ve learned to manage the symptoms pretty well. It’s one of the reasons I’m so strong in my boundaries and what I am and am not able to do.
Before the start of CPE, I was finally able to see a doctor and get a medication. We tried one, Lyrica, and it worked great. Only my insurance wouldn’t cover it for very long (or, they would, but wanted $600 every 3 months for it). So I switched, mid-unit, to another medication. I was worried, because I knew the only thing keeping me moving during CPE was this medication. CPE was a lot of activity, a lot of irregular sleep patterns, and there was a great worry that I would crash and burn during it. I kept telling myself that I just needed to make it to the end, then I could crash.
So, here we are. The week between CPE and Fall Convocation. And I’ve spent most of it in bed. I knew it would happen and yet somehow I hoped it wouldn’t. There’s a guilt inherent in sitting in bed all day, doing nothing but watching TV or playing on the computer or reading or just sleeping.
I’m thankful for the friends and loved ones who know that this is part of who I am and love me anyway through it. I’m thankful for a husband who has been handling all the chores and preparing the teenager to start high school tomorrow and encouraging me to rest. I’m thankful for fuzzy animals who are thrilled to curl up with me and sleep. I’m thankful for friends who keep me amused via texts and emails and Facebook messages. And I’m thankful that my medication is working and I should be fine by the time I get on a plane on Tuesday. (Editor note: I made a big mistake yesterday and skipped a dose of medication, which is why I feel like a truck hit me today. Lesson learned).
It’s important to remember that the rest stops are also a place of great learning. I’m learning that I don’t have to do it all. That the world will keep spinning, and more importantly, the family gets fed, the laundry gets done, the house does not fall down while I’m sick in bed. I’m learning that there is no guilt in taking care of the self. I’m learning that these times of rest are what will propel me forward when the next few weeks of whirlwind activity start (seriously, Convocation, then internship begins, plus some family and friends stuff happens soon).
But above all else, I’m learning there is grace in the rest stop. Mostly for myself, and that’s the person I’ve had the hardest time extending grace to over the past few years.
So, if you find yourself with a rest stop ahead, take it. Revel in it. Use the time to recharge, not to worry about what is and is not being done. It will wait. Or it won’t and someone else will do it. Or it won’t and it just won’t get done. It will be okay.